John Cockers

We don’t know much about this song. It was on John Mellencamp’s “Life, Death, Love and Freedom,” which would make number 5 on the Rolling Stone’s list of 50 Best Albums of the Year in 2008.

We know the original was produced by T Bone Burnett, who gives the song some depth and texture … and heavy smoker Mellencamp was experiencing a late-in-life voice change, getting rougher every minute.

I’ll put the lyrics and chords below. The song is about a man who just wants to be left alone and has no friends. It’s the ultimate blues song, and the way Mellencamp presents it, you’d immediately think it was about himself. Continue reading “John Cockers”

Neaky Freat

My Many Personalities!

We’re on a mighty trip!
We never get it right!
But God grades on a curve
You get what you deserve! A song!

By popular demand (not my cat!) I’ll do a Turkey Day share.
This is still in process, and represents my latest project.

It’s called “Neaky Freat.”
It’s about dancing.
I play all the instruments, designed the drums and wrote the tune.
Working on this in iMovie as I migrate to a better interface (DaVinci).
Also getting to know Apple Motion a little better, which is fun!
At this point, I haven’t added the bass guy, some FX and finishing. Continue reading “Neaky Freat”

Clairo; Has it Been Ten Years?

The ten-year success story of a Massachusetts girl who recorded a song for YouTube one morning without even getting out of bed says everything about what the entertainment industry worldwide has become. It’s much different than it used to be, when you needed a record label and a contract to get any real attention. Riding the YouTube magic carpet, artists like Claire Cottrill, known professionally as “Clairo,” have made enormous strides!

Clairo at The Roxy

About four years ago Clairo showed up out of nowhere on my Facebook feed. I remember! Curiously I clicked. My inner artist-critic self-started. Sometimes I know, and it’s not that hard. I can see through piles of clutter being sloppily laid out as art. I can see talent. Here some was! And I don’t remember who posted that original link for me, but I wasn’t the only one who clicked on it. The innocent, cute image of this girl propped up in her bed caught the attention of millions! Clairo says she recorded the track “using the resources around me which were pretty shitty. I used a little keyboard that I had and I was really into ’80s pop music – Continue reading “Clairo; Has it Been Ten Years?”

Mark Urso Live, and Monday Night’s Sandwich

The Perks of Fine Dining

Many things have happened since we last talked. I’m seriously considering trying the Italian Sausage Panini with Roasted Red Peppers, Arugula and housemade Peperoncini Aioli next week at Perks and Corks, an award-winning coffee bar downtown (Westerly, RI). That’s because they have a great photo of it, and I was just there but I didn’t eat anything. I just had a chai. At nine o’clock at night. Hey, don’t judge.

photo of sammich

That chai was just right. And when I snag a masterpiece panini next Monday, the Monday night open mic will take place again, and I can work with that! I’ll bring some of my originals! Perks has awards all over the walls; best drinks, best menu, best food, you name it! It’s truly a first class joint, just the kind of place where you WANT to be seen! I was sure to thank host Keith Cowley for having the event and making everyone feel welcome!

Here’s yours truly performing one of four tunes. Continue reading “Mark Urso Live, and Monday Night’s Sandwich”

Our Town

A Musical Journey

From Iris DeMent’s “Infamous Angel” (1992)

The background is worth the price of admission!

“Iris Luella DeMent (born Jan. 5, 1961), an American two-time Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter, was born in Paragould, Arkansas, the 14th and youngest child of Pat DeMent (1910–1992) and wife Flora Mae (1918–2011). Iris’s mother harbored dreams of going to Nashville and starting a singing career. Although she put those plans on hold to get married, her singing voice was an inspiration and influence for her youngest daughter Iris.

DeMent was inspired to write her first song ‘Our Town’ by a drive through a boarded-up Midwest town, at the age of 25. The lyrics came to her “exactly as it is now”, without need for re-writing, and she realized then songwriting was her calling in life. ‘Our Town’ was played during the closing scene for the final episode (July 26, 1995) of CBS’s television series Northern Exposure.”

She was fourteenth and youngest! Way to go Flora Mae! Continue reading “Our Town”

Tennessee Whiskey and Its Effect on the iPhone 6 Video Performance, Featuring Malaena and Duke Robillard!

DJI Osmo Pocket Gimbal
vs
DJI OM-5 with iPhone 6

Here we have a fine local group in Connecticut that goes by the name “Malaena.” It’s a six-piece act and you’ll see they have a team of strong vocalists, including a bass player who sounds just like Van Morrison!

This was a casual outing, where I tested a DJI OM-5 gimbal arm that holds an iPhone. As a result, I was shooting this video in 1080p with my iPhone 6, which is actually software upgraded to an iPhone 7.

But that didn’t help!

The video performance of the older iPhones is poor in comparison to the DJI Osmo camera, and the Osmo will go to 4k and do even better. The iPhone footage is grainy, with no color depth Continue reading “Tennessee Whiskey and Its Effect on the iPhone 6 Video Performance, Featuring Malaena and Duke Robillard!”

Video Fix – Malaena (5 Song Set)

This Too Shall Pass!

The Friday night music scene is alive in the Westerly and Stonington area (RI/CT), where a good variety of musical acts are lined up right through the Columbus Day weekend. At Phoenix Dining and Entertainment in Pawcatuck, CT, the 6-piece pop cover band Malaena took the stage and I was there to capture a few songs.

Pentalogy

Buttercup
Play That Funky Music
Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Again
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Louie, Louie Continue reading “Video Fix – Malaena (5 Song Set)”

Intermediate Guitar with Mark Urso – Lesson 2 – EZ Chord Notation and Performing | Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass

Guitar Lessons with Mark Urso

Intermediate Guitar with Mark Urso – Lesson 2
EZ Chord Notation and Performing
Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass

A great new lesson video to help make music refreshingly simple!

Starts with lesson and explanation of EZ Chords for Performers

Continues with three songs performed by me

The EZ chords are posted below!

Songs:

Continue reading “Intermediate Guitar with Mark Urso – Lesson 2 – EZ Chord Notation and Performing | Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass”

Blog Returns / New Videos

Hacker Party Time!

After a week of downtime caused by an aggressive hacker bot, here I am back in your living room! It’s good to be back!

Here’s the newest four videos I’ve published:

Easton Corbin @ Washington County Fair | Good Time (Cowbells Mashup with Intros)

Easton Corbin @ Richmond, RI | A Girl Like You

Sugar @ Phoenix | Bang Bang

Franklin Brothers Band @ Phoenix | Ain’t Nobody

Please let me know how the viewing is going on your end, Continue reading “Blog Returns / New Videos”

The Golden Glove – Mark Urso

Videos De Musica

This one dates back to the 1700s. It’s about a girl who stalks a guy. But back in the day, it was a treasured traditional story of a woman in love, across cultural boundaries. From Springsteen in the 70s to campfires with Vikings, themes we hear in popular music are timeless!

I’ll include the lyrics with the chords, below. You can give it a try if you’re a musician, or just read the lyrics; it’s pretty fun. The woman dumps her rich boyfriend for a lowly farmer, and they live happily ever after!

Despite the stalking premise, this song is definitely safe for kids! Continue reading “The Golden Glove – Mark Urso”

Unbroken Chain, Mark Urso

This is for all you Grateful Dead fans!  Unbroken Chain, Phil Lesh’s composition from the “From the Mars Hotel” (1974) album.

From Wikipedia: From the Mars Hotel is the seventh studio album by rock band the Grateful Dead. It was mainly recorded in April 1974, and originally released June 27, 1974. It was the second album by the band on their own Grateful Dead Records label. Continue reading “Unbroken Chain, Mark Urso”